Early Notification update and tips(!)

This is one of those weeks that most clearly brings home that we are a single Admissions Office in the middle of several admissions cycles.  Our newest Januarians are preparing for Orientation in just over a month.  The majority of our September 2018 applicants are completing their applications before our January 10 deadline.  Applicants to the PhD program and MYF pathway to the MALD or MIB are six days out from their December 20 deadline.  And earlier this week we released decisions on our Early Notification (EN) applications for September 2018 enrollment.

To those EN applicants who were admitted, congratulations!  Learning in December that you have been admitted is a great opportunity to plan for your graduate studies.  Some of you have already sent questions to the Admissions email, and we’ll be getting back to you, as well as reaching out to everyone else who was admitted.  We enjoy the opportunity to work with some real live admitted students while we’re also reading applications.

Today, though, a few words for those who weren’t admitted.  To those who were denied admission, please let me say that we’re sorry to make these decisions, but we hope it will help you craft your strategy on where to apply in January.  Later in the spring, you will also be welcome to request feedback on your application.

This post is really for those applicants whose applications were deferred for review in the spring, a good news/bad news situation.  We know that you didn’t submit an application in November in hopes of waiting until March for a decision.  On the other hand, you have the opportunity to update us on your application during the next few months.  If you choose the right update, it can be the difference between bad news and good news in March.

As I’m sure you can imagine, we’re not asking to be flooded with extra information, but here are suggestions of what we’d like to see:

  • An updated transcript that reflects grades received since you submitted your application;
  • New standardized exam (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS) score reports;
  • A revised résumé that includes information on a new job position;
  • An additional recommendation that sheds light on an aspect of your background you weren’t able to illuminate in other parts of the application.

Updating your application is strictly optional, but I’d encourage you to think through whether you have something useful to add.  And in that case, don’t turn down the opportunity!

What should you update? Well, you probably (in your heart of hearts) can identify the weaker areas of your application.  That’s where you should focus.  Are there any documents, or is there anything extra that you can say, that will help us to understand or interpret the weak points in your application?  If so, go ahead and update.  For example, did you decide it would be better not to mention the causes of your weak undergraduate semester?  I’d encourage you to explain it, particularly if it pulled down your overall GPA.  Did you indicate that your language skills are not strong enough to pass our proficiency exam?  Send us information on your plan for achieving proficiency before the end of the summer.  Did you mistype your years of employment at a certain job, making it look like you were there for two months, rather than four years and two months?  You can make that correction now.  And, if your GRE/GMAT scores were significantly lower than you expected, you may want to take the test again.  Note here that I’m not telling you to take the standardized exam again.  I’m encouraging you to review your credentials and make that decision for yourself.  The same is true for your TOEFL/IELTS.  If your scores are low, but you have continued to study English since your first test date, it could be worth it to retest.  Give it some thought.

Another suggestion:  If, upon reflection, your essay didn’t state your goals as clearly as you would have liked, send us a clarifying email!  We won’t substitute it for your personal statement, but it will certainly be reviewed.  This could be particularly helpful if you’ve taken steps to learn more about your ultimate career goal.

Possible additions to your application need not be limited to what I’ve listed above.  The key question to ask yourself is:  Does this actually add anything?  If the information is already included in your application, then there’s there’s not much value in sending it again.  An additional academic recommendation will add little to an application that already includes two.  On the other hand, a professional recommendation will add a lot to an application that only includes academic recommendations.  Think it through before you flood us with info, but don’t hesitate to send something that will give your application a happy bump.

Whether you were offered admission this week, or you were told we’ll reconsider your application in the spring, we look forward to hearing from you and to working with you during the coming months.  Please be sure to contact us with your questions.

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